Month: December 2014

‘Sugar Man’ search now a music rights battle

Decades after the fact, a famous musician is finding that he may not own rights to his songs — and a federal court in Michigan has just ruled that a legal effort to sort out who does will be more complex than the parties may have first believed. This latest court rumba rang out with the release of the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man. The documentary featured Sixto Rodriguez’s music and career and the curious twist as to how the Michigan-born songwriter saw his flicker of fame wane before he became a huge star in South Africa late in his life. But the movie also led to a reexamination of ownership of the rights to some of Rodriguez’s tunes — and, oh, the music got complicated then. Harry Balk, who composed the songs with Rodriguez, had believed the musical rights were covered in an exclusive song-writing agreement between Rodriguez and Balk’s company, Gomba Music. On behalf of Gomba Music Inc., Balk sued Clarence Avant, a Motown big, and Interior Music Corp. in federal court in Detroit for copyright infringement, fraudulent concealment, tortious interference with copyright and fraud. Interior sued against Rodriguez alleging that he had entered into a deal with it in the 1970’s and that he had represented that he owned all rights free and clear to the songs. The suit continued, as Balk believed he had been defrauded; it...

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Honored, again, and asking for readers’ help

The holiday cheer arrived early at the blog, as we got some great news for our student editors — whom we’ll ask our kind readers to assist in just a second. First this heartening information: The ABA Journal, the website of the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, has put the Biederman Blog on its Top 100 legal sites list for a second year. The journal, seen by half the nation’s 1 million practicing lawyers each month, says it scans more than 4,000 legal blogs by attorneys and others as part of its reporting on the field, and, each year, it picks a handful of online sources that its editors say they remember, because these blogs “have tipped us off to breaking news and the bloggers who have compelled us to write about their innovative ideas.” It’s an honor to be part of this elite, whose members include top scholars, practitioners, and analysts whose names and work are instantly recognizable because they’re both cited in the law and they daily shape public opinion, especially through the news media. Now, if you’ve generously taken the time to read this article, would you do one more thing: Would you please before Dec. 19 click on this link, take a few moments to register with the ABA (they don’t spam you or use the data — they say it is to...

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Entertainment Law Blogs

The Biederman Blog is now ranked NUMBER ONE on Feedspot's Top 20 Entertainment Law blogs (May 2018). It is very exciting to top this list. We are extra proud of number six - Entertainment Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark. Mr. Firemark graduated from Southwestern in 1992, and is a top entertainment blogger and webinar presenter in addition to being a world class entertainment attorney!

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